Over forty global apparel brands, manufacturers and recyclers have joined a new initiative called the Circular Fashion Partnership, to capture and reuse textile waste in Bangladesh, sources said.

The Circular Fashion Partnership is a cross-sectoral project led by The Circular Fashion Partnership is a cross-sectoral project led by the Global Fashion Agenda(GFA), a Copenhagen-based non-profit organization that mobilizes and guides the global fashion industry to take bold action on sustainability.

GFA and its partners, Reverse Resources, Bangladesh Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and P4G aim to ‘accelerate the transition to a circular fashion industry, by demonstrating a Circular Fashion Business Case in Bangladesh’.

The Circular Fashion Partnership will build a circular business model to facilitate a decrease in textile waste and increase the use of recycled fibres throughout the fashion value cycle. It will facilitate circular commercial collaborations between major fashion brands, textile and garment manufacturers, and recyclers to develop and implement new systems to capture and direct post-production fashion waste back into the production of new fashion products.  It also seeks to find solutions for the dead stock pile-up from the COVID-19 pandemic and, engage regulators and investors on the current barriers and economic opportunities in the country.

Bangladesh was chosen because it has the largest in-demand and recyclable waste for any garment-producing country, most of which is currently being exported or down-cycled. It has the potential to become a leader in circularity by scaling its recycling capacity and generating more value from these waste streams.  This is expected to generate economic benefits to Bangladesh and build industry resilience in the future.

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According to GFA, the business model and project learning will be presented at the end of 2021 in a ‘Circularity Playbook for Bangladesh’.  This will be used as a guide to replicate the partnership in other countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia.

Quoting Morten Lehmann, GFA CSO, the statement said, “To establish a circular fashion system, we need to re-imagine the production process so that it appreciates the value of textile waste.”

“It is encouraging to see so many prestigious companies sign up to the Circular Fashion Partnership and with their help, I am confident that we can demonstrate a strong business model for circularity that can be mirrored by others in the future,” Lehmann added.

The members of Circular Fashion Partnership include international brands such as H&M Group, C&A and Marks & Spencer, Bershka, Bestseller, Gina Tricot, Grey State, Kmart Australia, OVS, Pull & Bear, Peak Performance and Target Australia.

The Bangladeshi manufacturers are Amantex, Asrotex Group, Auko-tex Group, Aurum Sweaters, Beximco, Bitopi Group (Tarasima), Composite Knitting Industry Ltd, Crystal International Group Limited, Echotex, Fakir Knitwear, GSM, J.M. Fabrics, Knit Asia, MAS Intimates, Ratul Group (Knitwear & Fabric), Salek Textiles, S. B Knit Composite (Sankura Dyeing and Garments) and Northern Group. 

The recyclers include Birla Cellulose, BlockTexx, Cyclo, Infinited Fiber Company, Malek Spinning Mills, Marchi & Fildi Spa, Lenzing AG, Recovertex, Renewcell, Saraz Fibre Tech, Usha Yarns Limited and Worn Again Technologies.

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